Lions beat Sharks to top Super Rugby table

By AAP,

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    The Lions beat the Sharks 27-10 at King’s Park on Saturday to secure top place in the Super Rugby standings and secure home advantage if they reach next month’s final.

    They will now play the Sharks again, but at home at Ellis Park in next Saturday’s quarter-final and by virtue of top place in the overall log at the end of 17 weeks of the group phase are guaranteed to play at home if they advance further to the semi-finals and final.

    The Lions, runners-up in last year’s competition, outscored the Sharks by three tries to one after a slow start with Springboks Malcolm Marx and Andries Coetzee going over to ensure a 13-10 halftime lead and captain Jaco Kriel adding one in the second half.

    “It’s an amazing feeling to be top of the log. We’ve taken it week by week,” Kriel said.

    Lions fly half Elton Jantjies slotted four penalties but made the error that led to the Sharks’ only try when his 25m drop out was short and went straight into the hands of Sharks wing Kobus van Wyk, who had the pace to beat a surprised Lions defence for an easy score.

    Sharks fly half Garth April opened the scoring with a 10th minute penalty and also added a conversion.

    Defeat for the Durban team proved fortuitous as it meant they avoided a lengthy trip to New Zealand to face the Crusaders, who now host the Highlanders instead in a South Island derby in the last eight.

    The Lions finished ahead of the Crusaders, who lost their unbeaten record away against the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday to allow the Lions to leapfrog them and finish two points ahead. Both sides won 14 of their 15 group games.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (26)

    • July 16th 2017 @ 1:26pm
      Tommy said | July 16th 2017 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

      Lions have had easy games though plus no kiwi teams.’ where’s the saders have had all kiwi teams plus went to Africa did the lions travel at all this super

      • July 16th 2017 @ 2:08pm
        Craig said | July 16th 2017 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

        Real insight there Tommy. Your comment is just more repetition of what everyone has said is wrong with the competition for the last 2 years. It is broken but not the teams fault. All blame lies with the administrators.

        And yes, the Lions did play outside of SA. Lost to the Jags in BA, beat the Force, Rebels and Brumbies in WA, Vic and ACT respectively.

      • Roar Guru

        July 16th 2017 @ 2:22pm
        biltongbek said | July 16th 2017 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

        No the Lions were the only team that had no away games the whole season.

      • July 16th 2017 @ 2:37pm
        Jeffrey said | July 16th 2017 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

        Tommy,

        While I agree the draw is flawed and favoured the Lions considerably, you really are showing your ignorance by claiming the Lions didn’t have to travel. Where were you during their three match tour of Australia?

        • July 16th 2017 @ 3:21pm
          taylorman said | July 16th 2017 @ 3:21pm | ! Report

          Yes we knew all this was going to happen last year. Lions are probably not as strong as last year as last years team would have swept this years opposition much easier.

          • July 16th 2017 @ 3:34pm
            Baylion said | July 16th 2017 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

            I think the Lions is a better team this year than last year. They play a more balanced and deliberate game and have improved their defence, much less helter skelter stuff.

            Their performances against the Aussie and Africa 1 sides (the teams the Kiwis played) are on par with those of the Kiwis.

            They will, however, have to adjust very early in a match to the higher intensity that the Kiwi sides play with and not allow the Kiwi opponents to get too big a head start

          • July 16th 2017 @ 6:50pm
            Bakkies said | July 16th 2017 @ 6:50pm | ! Report

            Tman they have learnt how to defend this year and adapted as teams were going to work them out eventually

        • July 17th 2017 @ 2:26am
          Tommy said | July 17th 2017 @ 2:26am | ! Report

          Jeff I don’t watch Games that Australia super teams play! its boring. Mate you no the out come! Why would I sit there an watch men dropping the ball sorry no thanks.

    • July 16th 2017 @ 3:08pm
      Baylion said | July 16th 2017 @ 3:08pm | ! Report

      It’s actually possible for the Lions (or sharks) to win the trophy without playing any Kiwi sides

      That will really set off the Kiwi media and fans πŸ™‚

      • July 16th 2017 @ 3:19pm
        taylorman said | July 16th 2017 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

        Not really, we’ll have something to blame it on. ‘Lions got lucky because…”πŸ˜€

    • July 16th 2017 @ 3:15pm
      abc said | July 16th 2017 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

      No, Lions will not win….because according to Kiwis the world rugby ranking goes as…..1.All Blacks 2. Crusaders 3. Hurricanes 4. Chiefs 5. Blues 6++ Rest of the world…eeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!! Lions are the best team in superugby.. They will deserve their win if they go on to win it.

      • July 16th 2017 @ 5:32pm
        Jeffrey said | July 16th 2017 @ 5:32pm | ! Report

        No, it’s a flawed Conference system. No objective person wold say they totally deserve to win it.

        • Roar Guru

          July 16th 2017 @ 6:20pm
          biltongbek said | July 16th 2017 @ 6:20pm | ! Report

          Well it doesn’t really matter wether they fully deserve to win it, partially deserve to win it or not at all.

          If they win they win.

          When I moaned and complained about the farcical conference system when it was originally announced I was told it isn’t supposed to be fair.

          Well there you have it.

          • July 16th 2017 @ 6:52pm
            Bakkies said | July 16th 2017 @ 6:52pm | ! Report

            They won at least 5 games against the Kiwi teams last year with the same group of players and coaching staff

            • July 16th 2017 @ 7:30pm
              taylorman said | July 16th 2017 @ 7:30pm | ! Report

              Four actually, three in jburg, two were the knockouts.

          • July 16th 2017 @ 7:44pm
            Jeffrey said | July 16th 2017 @ 7:44pm | ! Report

            I agree that if they win it, then they obviously have the right to be called champions. But nobody takes this comp seriously anyone. This Friday is case in point, in which universe do the Brumbies deserve to be in the finals, let alone hosting it.

            It’s sad for the Lions as well as many will question their victory if it were to happen. And it’s unfair on them, as they may have very well been the best team in the comp and won even under the old Super 12 system. But the question mark will always be there.

            The only good news is I don’t think this will last much longer, especially with talks that even the Sharks are thinking about leaving. The end of Super Rugby is nigh….hopefully.

    • July 16th 2017 @ 3:35pm
      Pickett said | July 16th 2017 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

      I hope the Transvaal Lions win the whole darn thing.
      Good on ’em and their great coach.

      • Roar Guru

        July 16th 2017 @ 6:39pm
        Fox Saker said | July 16th 2017 @ 6:39pm | ! Report

        They will struggle to even make the final unless the ref intervenes

        • July 16th 2017 @ 6:51pm
          taylorman said | July 16th 2017 @ 6:51pm | ! Report

          That’s what they said about them other LionsπŸ˜€

        • July 16th 2017 @ 10:12pm
          Brent Horstor said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:12pm | ! Report

          Nice fedora, m’lady

    • July 16th 2017 @ 7:47pm
      Highlander said | July 16th 2017 @ 7:47pm | ! Report

      The Lions will be pretty tough to beat from here, they are a quality side and the rails run home.

      No amount of continued bleating about the conference system on here is going to change it.

      If they weren’t a good side I would get it, but they are quality.

    • July 16th 2017 @ 9:18pm
      Brent Horstor said | July 16th 2017 @ 9:18pm | ! Report

      Funny that this conference system was actually put in place to stop the South African teams from dominating Super Rugby. Now it has come back to bite the Anzacs. The Lions should just volunteer to step out of the competition now, they need to cuck themselves to appease the sour kiwis, because even if they win, they still won’t be champions according to the kiwis.

      Shame guys, you must be hating teams that are called Lions, first you get denied for 12 years, then you get topped on the super rugby table. Oh shame, go have a cry.

      • July 16th 2017 @ 10:09pm
        Jeffrey said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:09pm | ! Report

        When did SA teams ever dominate Super rugby? 2007 was the only year I can remember and that was the year Henry pulled out the Abs from the comp

        You are funny though.

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